MOS Certification and the Administrative Services Pathway
The Maryland Administrative Services curricula, provides students with knowledge of how to effectively utilize technology in the analysis, and communication of ideas; and the management, organization, and examination of information for strategic business decision making. Students are expected to think analytically; improve written and oral communication skills; enhance listening and questioning skills; learn and practice the art of conversation; broaden their awareness of career options; practice decision making and problem solving; learn the importance of communication skills in professional business practice; and utilize data to engender decisions.
Students enrolled in the Administrative Services Program are required to take two foundation courses—Principles of Business Administration and Management; and Financial Management Using Software Applications. Upon completion of the two foundation courses, students are required to complete Office Administration 1 and Office Administration 2. Office Administration 2 includes coursework in Microsoft Office Applications preparing students for Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification.
The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is globally recognized credential desired by academia and business. MOS Certification is used by employers to fill job vacancies quickly, minimize new hire ramp-up time, make promotion decisions, and maximize their return on company resources and technology. Most colleges and universities recognize MOS Certification granting college credit to students who have earned MOS credentials.
Microsoft Office Specialist certification demonstrates proficiency in individual Office applications such as MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Outlook, MS Excel, etc. MOS certifications can assist learners in the earning of college credit, in demonstration of content mastery, and by enhancing their career prospects in a competitive job market. Microsoft Certification tests are developed and administred through Certiport . Specific information about the MOS exams can be found at the Certiport MOS Page with information about the exams available. The page includes a number of resources including a Microsoft Office Learning Plan assessment tool, and Microsoft E-Learning resources that include online activities, exercises, games, and virtual labs. Click here for information for K-12 institutions where you will find an excellent flyer and datasheet.
Microsoft Office Specialist 2007 and 2010 Series exams are proctored exams and must be taken at a Certiport Center (Microsoft Certified Exam Provider).
MS Certification Professional Development for Maryland Teachers
A variety of professional development training opportunities from which participants earn MSDE credit will be offered over time. The first course offering is Microsoft Certification. This course focuses on the Microsoft Certification process and its implication to teaching, learning, curriculum, and student development in Maryland. Through intensive training participants will complete exercises, practice tests, and training simulations in preparation for the Microsoft Certification exams. The training concludes with the Microsoft Certification exams delivered in an approved Certiport testing facility. The 2010 training was offered the week of July 25th-30th. The 2011 training will also be scheduled for the month of July. The training is held on the UMES Campus in Princess Anne, MD. Participants may choose between MS Word or MS Excel.
Preparing for the MOS Tests
Most people greatly overestimate their technical skills. When it comes to the use of Microsoft Word or Excel, the average user is only proficient with less than 25% of the capabilities of the software. For both MS Word and MS Excel, two levels of certification tests are available. The core level test certifies that a user is proficient with 80% of the features of the software at the functional level. The expert level tests certify that users are able to use the software at the administrative level to manage users, manipulate options, customize the environment, collaborate on group projects, and etcetera.
The tests are skill based and take place in a simulated application environment. Most questions have multiple tasks and the examination is assessed based on both the outcome and the clicks involved. Microsoft wants to insure that users can locate and utilize key feature. With this in mind, test takers are not required to do much typing. Rather, the test requires users to locate the necessary feature and click appropriately.
The questions are not worded to be tricky or misleading. For success a test taker just needs to be well versed in the software application, ready to be persistent and search for the correct answer, and pace their self.
Here are some tips for taking the test:
· Learn all of the tabs and associated groups · Be familiar with the MS Office button · Learn Exce/Wordl Options · If you are not sure about a question, select skip to move ahead. You will be able to return to the question at the end of the test. · If you think that you have clicked too many places looking for the answer, you can reset the question and start again. · Keep track of the time. You neither want to move too sluggishly nor at a hurried pace. · Do not over think questions. .
Maryland State Department of Education